Thanks to a generous $20,000 donation from a pair of Ridgewater College alumni, the Ridgewater College Foundation has established a new endowment fund to support nursing students in need.

“We are hoping this is a good way to ‘pass on’ the blessings (we have) received,” stated the Willmar area alum who wishes to remain anonymous.

The donors’ vision is to provide a crisis fund to help Willmar campus students training to be registered nurses in the associate or bachelor of science degree programs if they face unexpected financial challenges on their journey to their RN careers, according to Kelly Magnuson, vice-president of advancement and outreach/foundation executive director.

The donors want to provide one-time assistance to students who might be at risk of dropping out of college when paying tuition or rent is a struggle, for example, or maybe their car has broken down. Nursing faculty will play a role in directing students toward this new financial resource.

“Many students, when forced to choose between paying for car repairs and paying for tuition and books, will give up on college and their education plan and dreams,” Magnuson explained.

Although the donors did not receive college or foundation assistance when they attended the Ridge-water College program, they did receive other government grants and former employer assistance and now want to pay it forward.

Beginning with the spring semester of 2020, Ridgewater students training to be RNs who are facing difficult choices and financial challenges should communicate with one of their instructors. They, in turn, can work with the foundation to refer students in need.

For more information, visit, or contact the foundation office at (320) 222-6094.

– Photo courtesy of Ridgewater College